Burnside Homestead Welcomes A2O Cyclists
All Text and Images Copyright 2014 Burnside Homestead
As with most great trails, you can ride it in sections or,ride the length over a series of days, it’s up to you. This trail potentially offers the most variety of any trail in New Zealand. You start the trail with a helicopter ride over the Tasman River to land in the middle of no-where, with the Southern Alps as your backdrop and things only get better. Where else will you see glaciers, snow capped mountains, hydro lakes, orchards, limestone formations, fossils, penguins and the ocean, all in one trail!
Burnside Homestead is a provider on the packaged tours of several official A2O partner Tour Operators: you can see our website “Links” page to check them all out, as well as the official A2O website. Free independent groups or solos/partners are all welcome: we strongly recommend forward booking: you will be guaranteed an experience to remember!
We were warmly welcomed by Alison and Bruce at Burnside and what a place to be welcomed to. It was enough to take the mind off the appalling conditions of the day. Our gear was hosed off, hung up or put out to wash. We had showers and I had a lovely hot bath where grit and mud was dispersed. We then settled into a lovely afternoon tea and relaxation by an open fire. Lovely!
Burnside Homestead is worth checking out on the internet. It is a most superb huge house, beautifully restored by Alison and Bruce and an absolute credit to them. There are 9 bedrooms all done in period furniture. All have ensuites and some have substantial bathrooms. The garden looks lovely but we are yet to explore that as we need the rain to stop. Imagine: take yourself back a hundred years to a gracious house with lovely hosts, good food, and wonderful surroundings and you have Burnside.
Relaxation around the fire.
Being hosed down at Burnside Homestead.
The Alps 2 Ocean Trail is one of the ‘Great Rides’ of the Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail. At 300+km long, it’s an easy to intermediate walking and cycling trail, about 3 hours north of Queenstown. The amazing diversity and variety of this trail require moderate fitness. Be aware that the trail starts at Aoraki/Mt Cook Village in the heart of the Southern Alps and descends 700m down to Oamaru by the Pacific Ocean. Because of this, the weather and conditions may be extremely varied over the length of the trail, so pack layers and be prepared.
See an account below of one of the 2014 groups who have enjoyed Burnside Homestead as their final night accommodation: in this case in bad weather- most will enjoy the clarity of blue sky and hot sun which especially characterises late summer through autumn..
Our dinner this night was superb. Served in a traditional setting, we had lamb loaf, beetroot and feta, potatoes, pumpkin, beans and capsicum and corn followed by a desert of apple and raspberry sponge with a fruit sauce, cream or icecream. Our hosts wore traditional clothes and did a fine job of serving and hosting.
It rained over night but the morning finally opened up to clear skies. After yesterday it was good news.
Our breakfast was once again set in style in the main dining room. Most of us had a continental breakfast but then opted for scrambled eggs as well. Alison and Bruce looked after us with grace and style with Alison imparting her knowledge on her self sufficient skills. Mission accomplished at Port Oamaru
So, what was my impression of the Alps2Ocean Bike Trail? ...... it is incredibly scenic and totally worthwhile doing. ( For full blog click here.)
Accommodation exceeded my expectations, especially the last night -Burnside Homestead- which just blew my mind....
Wayne Palmer, Auckland, New Zealand, cycling the trail with A2O Cycle Tours.
"I love staying at Burnside, it's one of the highlights of our week long tour. We consistently get great feedback from our clients raving about the location, the food, the history and the hospitality of the hosts. It makes the last night really special, a great way to end the week." Sara Leadbetter, General Manager A2O Cycle Tours.